Thank you for volunteering to recruit businesses for Bike to Shop Day on May 17, 2014! To make the process easier for our volunteers, we’ve broken down the job into eight steps.
Step 1: Consider becoming a Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition member
If you are not already a Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition member, we encourage you to become one!
You’ll be speaking on behalf of SVBC, the lead sponsor for the program, so we want you to be able to have authority to say “I’m a member of SVBC volunteering for Shop by Bike Day.” If you don’t know much about SVBC, here’s a quick overview of their programs, events, recent successes and membership benefits.
Step 2: Plan the merchants you want to recruit.
If possible, choose merchants that know your face if not your name. Relationships count! Set a goal. Note that we’ve set up a Google group that team members can use to coordinate with other recruiters from the area so we don’t bombard merchants with multiple requests. Merchants that having existing discount offers for SVBC members will be contacted first by SVBC staff, so don’t approach them unless requested.
About their offer…There are no specific restrictions on their offer. It can be free coffee with pastry purchase, buy one, get second item 1/2 off, 10% off all accessories, an extra 20% on all sale items, etc. It’s up to the business. Offers that are more interesting or creative may do better in attracting customers.
Step 3: Practice your pitch.
First, introduce yourself as volunteer for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Pitch points:
- Bike to Shop Day is a one-day promotion to encourage people to shop by bike sponsored by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
- The business can participate by creating a one-day special offer for people who arrive by bike.
- We will provide a Bike to Shop Day poster with their custom offer for their window.
- The business and their offer will be listed on the Shop by Bike web site, which will be promoted as part of SVBC’s May is Bike Month and Bike to Work Day and in local media.
- If businesses want “proof” of arrival by bike can they ask participants to show their helmets.
Step 4: Recruit merchants, in person or by email.
Arrive by bike! Introduce yourself, ask for manager, use pitch points #1 and #2 if needed to break the ice with the non-manager. Thank manager, do pitch. If declined, thank the manager and go. If accepted, fill out the online form or paper form, either in the store with with them, or on their behalf later. If the manager or owner is not available, ask for their contact information and follow up by phone or email. See sample emails. You can also leave a flyer.
Step 5: Track the merchants you recruit.
After the deal is recorded, we will publish it on the map. We would like you to re-check the progress of the businesses you recruit. Sometimes a personal nudge to the business owner may be needed. Before Bike to Shop Day, we will send email confirming offer and reminding them that Bike to Shop Day is coming.
Step 6: Deliver Bike to Shop Day posters.
Attend our poster assembly party the 3rd week in April, taking those you will deliver (by bike!) to the merchants you’ve recruited.
Step 7: Visit merchant on Bike to Shop Day.
Make sure the poster is still up and they’re ready. If possible, buy something. Thank manager for participating! SVBC will follow up with thank you email (that also pitches long-term sponsorship).
Step 8: Celebrate!
We’re a fun group. We will have a social gathering to celebrate our wins, share our stories of this year’s successes and gotchas and brainstorm for the future.